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Knicks bench J.R. Smith again because… nobody is saying. Smith thinks it’s “ridiculous”

Jan 15, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons a team may choose to bench J.R. Smith: his poor shot selection messing with the offense, his lack of defense, a wide range of off the court antics.

The Knicks benched Smith for the second time in four games Tuesday night, this one an eventual Knicks loss to the Bobcats where New York seemed flat and in need of a spark. The kind Smith brings when he is on.

What was odd was the timing — the Knicks already benched him one game for the shoe-untying incident, but he had come back and played in two games since them (playing more than 50 combined minutes and scoring 24 points). Then it was back to the bench Tuesday.

After the game coach Mike Woodson refused to talk about it, saying only he just didn’t play him.

Smith however, was talking, as reported by the New York Daily News.

“I stopped being surprised after the Miami game,” Smith said, adding Woodson gave him “no reason” for his latest benching and didn’t tell him he wouldn’t play before the game began. “I haven’t the slightest clue (what’s going on). . . . If I’m not helping the team, there’s no point in me being here….

Asked about the recent shoelace incidents, Smith said “for that to be the trigger point for all of this to happen is ridiculous.”

Smith has a point here. First, the shoelace thing is in the past and you suspended him for it, then brought him back. Maybe there was another incident. More than likely that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but then why play him  the past two games? Why bench him again now?

Smith can officially be traded on Wednesday (because he signed a contract this summer he couldn’t be moved before Jan. 15) so some saw this benching as precautionary measure. Except, there is no trade market for Smith — he is owed $12.3 million for the two seasons after this one, his play is declining, plus there are all the off-the-court distractions he brings.

Whatever the reason, this is just another distraction and sideshow for the Knicks. Exactly what they need.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Knicks bench JR Smith because……………….he isnt that good.

    • sportsfan18 - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      But the same Knicks that benched him just signed him to a 3 yr contract this past off season.

      Now, a half a year into the first yr of that contract, they want to unload him.

      THEY wanted him and signed him and not that long ago.

      They signed his brother even though his brother isn’t good enough to play in the league and J.R. isn’t anywhere good enough to warrant this kind of behavior by the team. I mean J.R.’s three year deal is for $18 million. Melo and others make more than that each season yet they sign J.R.’s brother.

      Also, even after his “great” 6th man of the year season last year, he was still a terrible shooter, a volume shooter.

      I think the Knicks should have to keep him for the duration of the contract they just signed him to.

      Ha! What a joke this all is.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        sportfan18, you are a idiot.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      You talk a lot of junk for a T-Wolves fan.

    • casualcommenter - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      To be blunt, I think that’s all there is to it.

      When a guy is definitely a net negative on defense and arguably a net negative on offense, I don’t think a coach needs to hold a press conference to explain why he chose to not play him.

      I think the answer is pretty straightforward.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      the report is he untied Woodson’s shoelace @ practice.

  2. cruzan80 - Jan 15, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Its the 15th…has he been traded yet????

    • spthegr8 - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      ^^^^^^ It’s not that the Knick’s haven’t tried but, team’s aren’t exactly kicking down the Knick’s front door for Jr’s service’s!! Just Saying”!!! ^^^^^^^

      • zerole00 - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Who would have thought the market for a problem child with an overrated contract, who also shoots inefficiently, would be bad?


    • sportsfan18 - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Traded? They JUST signed him this past off season to a 3 yr contract and now, only a half a season into year one of the deal they want to unload him.

      Talk about a swing and a miss.

      • cruzan80 - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        …….and someone will still trade for him.

  3. dstroi - Jan 15, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    I mean come on, what does he expect? He acts like he’s 18 years old out there on the court. Between his antics and shot selections, he should be lucky that he is not playing in the D-league right now. Can we now put this debacle behind us and move on to another topic worth discussing please?

    • edwardemanuelson - Jan 15, 2014 at 9:42 AM


      18? I think you’re being generous there! 😉

  4. sportsfan18 - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    J.R. You help the team more by being on the bench than on the court.

  5. spursareold - Jan 15, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    When you’re close to a trade, you hold the player in question out of the game. He’s obviously being shopped.

  6. riggz91 - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    As a Knick fan I’m not surprised by this, and even expected it. You should never sign a guy like J.R. Smith to more than a 1 year deal. The brilliant Knicks FO signed him to a 3 year deal, knowing he needed knee surgery, knowing he had failed 3 drug tests, and knowing (at least you would hope) that no other team would even think about giving this guy a 2 year deal. He’s Dolans golf buddy so he and his brother got paid. As long as Dolan is running the Knicks they’ll go another 40 years without a title, consistently the team with the highest payroll and lowest wins. Melo should get out while he can.

    • marcusfitzhugh - Jan 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      An unrestricted free agent who just won 6th man of the Year will not sign a ONE year deal. JR would have signed someplace else. For those who doubt it, Jeremy Lin turned a few starts in a single season into OVER $25M for 3 years, whereas JR averaged 18+ points and 5+ rebounds last year. Somebody definitely would have given JR 3 years. Whether that would have been a better choice is a different subject.

      The Knicks knew he needed surgery, but JR Smith signed his deal in early July – the league announced his suspension in September. The Knicks did not know about his upcoming suspension before signing the guy.

    • cruzan80 - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      “knowing (at least you would hope) that no other team would even think about giving this guy a 2 year deal.”

      I hear ya & agree with most of what you said there………but. The Bucks had an offer of $8 mil (3 mil more than he got from the Knicks) for the same amount of years which they later gave to O.J. Mayo after Smith re-signed with the Knicks. Smith could’ve gotten even a bigger contract elsewhere if he really wanted to leave N.Y. last summer. Nobody (Knick fans especially) thought it was a bad idea for them to e-sign him last summer when it happened. In fact….the general consensus was that they needed to….but hindsight is 20/20 so here comes all the “They’re so dumb for re-signing him!” crap.

  7. indrathegod - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I didn’t even know that J.R. could use the word ‘ridiculous’ in a proper sentence. Good for him.

    I honestly still don’t believe that they will trade him. Knowing the Knicks and Dolan, all of this is a ploy to get his attention, and get it quick. Plus, who in their right mind would take such a risk? You’ve got teams out here competing for a championship and he’s focused on being the ‘class clown’. Save your money folks…

    NYK, you’ve made your bed and want the rest of the league to lay in it, not how it works. No one wants your leftovers from last year.

  8. antistratfordian - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    The true Sixth Man of the Year for 2012-13 was Ray Allen.

    • marcusfitzhugh - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Yeah right, because Allen’s 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game over 79 games were somehow better than JR’s 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over 80 games. We’ll wait while you do the math . . . . . . . .

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